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Eatontown Personal Injury Law Blog

Improper medical garment removal can spread bacteria

New Jersey patients know that the medical staff members who treat them are only human and can make mistakes. Many mistakes are minor or caught very quickly before they can do any harm, but some medical errors can be serious and cause harm to patients or to others. Mistakes involving contaminated materials can spread disease throughout a medical setting. A recent study indicates that mistakes made by health care workers when removing personal protective clothing can contaminate clothing or equipment with antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

The study that was conducted by researchers in Chicago observed nurses and doctors in adult intensive care units for a period of six months. Half of the 125 health care workers observed had been formally trained in the proper use of protective garments and equipment in the previous year. Ninety percent had received training in 'donning and doffing" of personal protective garments in the previous five years.

Mistaken diagnosis common cause of malpractice claims

When people in New Jersey feel ill, they often go to the doctor to receive a clear diagnosis. Unfortunately, on far too many occasions, they may instead be given incorrect answers and improper or ineffective treatment. According to two studies, misdiagnosis is the most common reason why patients file medical malpractice claims. According to one insurer, 46 percent of closed claims filed between 2013 and 2017 were related to the diagnostic process.

In addition, these claims reflected an even larger share of those that were paid out to the injured patients: 68 percent of paid costs were related to misdiagnosis claims. In 45 percent of the claims, the patient passed away due to complications. Another study found that 38 percent of all malpractice claims involving children were related to misdiagnosis. There are a number of reasons that ill people may be misdiagnosed, but in many cases, it is due to a cursory or inadequate examination process. Doctors may not order necessary tests, fail to follow up with patients or neglect to thoroughly examine them.

How daylight saving time can heighten car crash risk

Residents of New Jersey who feel drowsy after daylight saving time should know that this can increase their risk of a car crash. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety upholds the opinion that everyone should sleep at least seven hours each night. The organization found that those who miss one to two hours of sleep in a 24-hour period nearly double their risk for an auto accident.

Even more startling, AAA says that those who sleep only five hours in the previous 24 hours will drive like one who is drunk; the level of impairment is similar in both cases. Despite the risks, drowsy driving continues to be an issue. Three in 10 respondents to a AAA survey said that they drove at least once in the past month in such a tired state that they could hardly keep their eyes open.

Diagnosing rare diseases

The citizens of New Jersey may be surprised to learn that rare diseases affect around 400 million people globally. Nevertheless, given the relatively low number of people affected by these ailments, rare diseases are rarely researched or talked about in the public sphere, making them a mystery to today's doctors. According to some estimates, out of 7,000 diseases classified as rare, only 500 can be treated.

The statistics surrounding rare diseases are interesting. To begin with, a disease classified as rare affects less than 200,000 Americans, half of which are children. What's more, several rare cancers are actually subtypes of other cancers that are more common. On average, rare diseases receive less than 10 percent of medical research funding.

Best practices for safety at a construction site

Accidents at construction sites can be a major problem for both employees and companies. Incidents can lead to serious injury and even death at all types of locations. Throughout the history of construction, many best practices for safety have been developed. It's important for both workers and their employers to consider all the ways they can mitigate risks on the job site. When everyone is aware and involved, the chance of accidents occurring will go down.

The primary best practices for construction sites is awareness and training. By making sure everyone understands that hazards of the site and the proper techniques for performing jobs and handling equipment, accidents will be less likely. Training sessions should take place before anyone starts a job, and supervisors should ensure the lessons learned in training are followed.

Distracted driving

Driving distracted is a menace to the motorists of New Jersey. According to federal data, distractions account for about 10 percent of all fatal car crashes. What's more, these unnecessary diversions come in all shapes and sizes: for example, a hot cup of coffee that gets spilled, a child begging for attention or a call on a cellphone that needs to be answered.

People have been changing the way they use cellphones over the past few years, making them riskier. A decade ago, people used to talk on their cellphones, and that was the extent of their usage. However, people today use phones to text, send emails and surf the internet more than they use them to make calls. The likelihood of a driver using a phone for something other than a phone call is 57 percent.

AASM brings attention to drowsy driving in ridesharing industry

Ridesharing drivers in New Jersey run the risk of becoming sleep-deprived at the wheel. Especially in the early morning and late at night, when sleepiness is at its peak, drivers can put themselves and others in danger. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine published a position statement back in April 2018 that brought attention to this public safety issue.

In it, the AASM explained the factors. Ridesharing drivers are often compelled by low fare and salary incentives to overwork themselves. Many have a corresponding habit to underrate the importance of sleep. Since most of these drivers are independent contractors, they are never screened for medical conditions like obstructive sleep apnea that can affect their alertness behind the wheel.

Car crash study shows seat belts lessen liver injury severity

Many motor vehicle accidents in New Jersey result in blunt abdominal trauma with two of the most frequently damaged organs being the liver and spleen. In the case of a severe injury, the spleen can be removed but not the liver, which is why everything possible should be done to protect against liver injuries. One important step is to use the seat belt.

Researchers from the NYU Langone Hospital-Brooklyn analyzed car crash data that the National Trauma Data Bank had recorded from 2010 to 2015, finding over 52,200 liver injury cases that could be accurately classified for severity. Of these, 15 percent were severe, and of those patients, 15 percent died. About 8 percent with mild or moderate liver injuries died.

Maintaining outdoor worker safety in winter weather conditions

Unfortunately, not everyone has the option of heading indoors when temperatures drop in New Jersey. This is why businesses that employ outdoor workers are encouraged to take extra steps to ensure safety during winter. Employers should be certain that company vehicles are well-maintained, fall protection systems are set up for tasks involving heights and appropriate personal protective equipment is provided.

Rooftop snow removal often tops the list of winter-related tasks that can lead to workers' compensation claim filings because of injuries. OSHA doesn't have standards specific to removing snow from roofs, but they do have guidelines that govern the maintenance and use of the ladders and aerial lifts employees often use to clear snow-covered roofs.

Retail employee safety is important around the holidays

Retail employees residing in New Jersey should be aware of safety risks associated with working over the holidays. OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, is taking the initiative to remind employers to take extra steps to focus on protecting retail workers and their pay. The fast-paced shopping environment surrounding the holidays leads to longer workdays and more demanding schedules for retail employees.

NIOSH, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, explains that retail employers should be especially cautious about unsafe working conditions around the holidays and take extra steps to ensure that employees' physical and mental health is maintained through the holiday season. This can help reduce anxiety and make employees feel that their needs are being met, leading to increased safety and better morale.

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